CLOSEyankees shortstop didi gregorius needs tommy john surgery will miss part of 2019 season - Fueled by Alex Bregman's Instagram post, Red Sox, Steve Pearce make Astros pay

SportsPulse: MLB insider Bob Nightengale gauges the temperature of each and every championship collection, predicts who has the benefit if each and every is going the space.

HOUSTON — Boston Purple Sox first baseman Steve Pearce, infuriated by Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman’s Instagram post, swore they would be the ones talking last.

Pearce, taking a page out of Theodore Roosevelt’s playbook by speaking softly and carrying a big stick, punished Bregman and the Astros in his own style Tuesday night.

It was Pearce’s 456-foot blast in the sixth inning that gave the Red Sox a lead they would never surrender, and Jackie Bradley Jr.’s grand slam in the eighth that blew it open, as the Red Sox clobbered the Astros, 8-2.

All of the momentum is back on the Red Sox’s side, giving them a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven American League Championship Series with the next two games scheduled at Minute Maid Park.

Pearce made sure to put the trash talking to rest after ripping Bregman for posting a video of starter Nathan Eovaldi on Monday showing the three consecutive homers he surrendered in June against the Astros while pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

“Wow, I don’t know why he would do that,” Pearce told “We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now, we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.

“I don’t think he needs to run his mouth. He’s one of the best players in the game. If that’s his personality, that’s his personality. Nothing against the guy. If that’s how he has to motivate himself, whatever.’’

Red Sox manager Alex Cora laughed off the social media commotion again Tuesday, insisting it was actually good to have folks talking about baseball, but Eovaldi certainly delivered his vengeance.

Averaging 98 mph on his fastball and mixing in cutters, Eovaldi stymied the Astros for six innings, giving up six hits and two runs, despite defensive blunders by his infield.


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“He’s in a good place,’’ Cora said. “One thing he’s done the last four or five [starts], he’s using the fastball in different spots. As far as stuff, pure stuff, there’s not too many left in October with that kind of ability. This guy’s throwing 99, 100 in the sixth inning.

“We slowed down with him in September so he could be ready for this.’’

Even though the Red Sox got the last laugh this day, Cora downplayed their performance had anything to do with Bregman, saying his social media post was all in good fun, just like the emotion and swagger the Astros show on the field.

“There’s nothing wrong with what the Astros do,’’ Cora said. “I think it’s actually cool for the game. When they started doing that staring thing, I think the whole town kind of got caught up.

“The more the people talk about the game, the better it is. We’ve got so much talent now that it’s fun to watch, and people should tune in and watch what’s going on.’’

The truth is that Cora, who was the Astros’ bench coach last season, told his players they should show emotion.

“I had a meeting with some of our players,’’ Cora said. “Like, hey, man, you guys are good. You should play the part.’’

The Red Sox are going back to Boston, either carrying the ALCS trophy or to play Game 6.

And for a team that had gone undefeated in the postseason, wearing those gaudy 2017 World Series rings, the Astros suddenly have lost two consecutive games and perhaps their mojo.

The Red Sox may lack the swag, but they are delivering the goods.

Follow Nightengale on Twitter @BNightengale


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